Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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Ride Report: Sunday 27 November – The sick, the lame and the just plain lazy

Posted by Dandy | November 28, 2011 | 13 comments so far

What a turnout for today’s Old Crocks ride. Joining Jem and myself were Keith (ankle), James Pro (collar bone), Colin (fatigued from having been at it all night long last month) and DaveC (birthday hangover).

I’d proposed a route taking in some of the local fun spots, Abba Zabba and TTW3, all linked by some scenic bridle paths and single track. Nobody disagreed with this plan, and after a slightly delayed start waiting for those out partying last night (you know who you are), we departed at 0930.

Dave was demonstrating his command of mtb niches on his singlespeed, rigid carbon-forked 29er with big fat tyres and his trademark swept backed Mary bars. Colin and James were flying the flag for On-One, with Keith and myself supporting the UK built full-sus offerings (Orange and Pace). Jem was giving his Kinesis Ultralight another outing.

Admirals Track to Polesden Lacey and the Yew Trees climb took us up to Ranmore. Jem and I sauntered up at the back, chatting to ensure we didn’t overdo it at this early stage. Badger Run and Collarbone were buried under a thick layer of leaves, but the track is smooth enough not to present too many hidden dangers. I did spot a couple of unclips and dabs on the path up ahead of me, but I’m too discreet to snitch on you, Keith.

I braved the log pile on Trouble in Paradise and carried a bit more speed to avoid the embarrassing stall that nearly befell me on my last attempt. Riding behind Dave on the single track showed his fat tyres were struggling for grip, but my £10 Kenda Nevegal (thanks D-Dub) seemed to fare slightly better, but I suspect it’s time to break out the Mud-Xs.

Discretion overcame valour as we all took the chicken run around the side of Abba Zabba, with James in front of me showing his On-One was also struggling for grip on the greasy surface. We all despatched the rest of the AZ complex with no dramas, accompanied by the sound of shotguns from the fields just below the road.

Having negotiated a group of some 20 or so walkers on the narrow sandy path back to Westcott, we headed for the Mediterranean climb (has it been reclassified as ‘Middle Med’ now?). James hung back to join me as I slowly span up the climb. Jem was looking in good form as he and the rest of the group disappeared from our sight.

After a pause for various snack bars, we tagged on to a group of roadies from Horsham on the final road section up to Ranmore church. At this point we stumbled upon a local cross-country race, which prompted us to head briefly left down the road before taking a sharp right along the bridleway that runs parallel with the ridge line.

TTW3 was great fun, with both wheels drifting in the damp leaf-litter as we weaved down the slope. I was pleased I’d caught up with Dave as he took a sneaky left fork to reveal some new (to me) section of the trail. The second part included a couple of small jumps which were great fun when taken with reasonable speed. I must head back there to make sure I imprint that final section into the memory banks.

We picked up the A24 back to Mickleham, and then headed left over the bridge. Here we bumped into Danielle and Jess from Astounding Adventures, who were out for a ride with their dogs. It was good to see Danielle back on a bike after a severe ankle injury that put her out earlier in the summer. Jess was heading off for a further 3 hours of riding, in preparation for some epic rides planned for next year by the sounds of it.

The original plan was to head up to Norbury and down Infestation, but with Colin heading back alongside the A24, Jem and I decided to ‘save the legs’ and join him. Keith, Dave and James headed off up the hill for their final descent, while we span away to Leatherhead to complete what was around a 17 mile ride for most of us. A great ride for all, I think.

Filed under Rides in November 2011

Dandy

About the author

Having been mountain biking since 1996, you might have expected Dandy to have learnt to ride a bike by now. Several broken bones in the last few years prove the maxim that you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

In between hospital visits, Dandy rides a brace of much-blinged Pace RCs, the 'green themed' 405 and the silver & gold 506. His winter hack is the Moles' favourite, an On-One 456 hardtail, now converted to an Alfine hub He also dabbles in 'the dark arts', keeping 2 road bikes in one of his seven sheds.

There are 13 comments on ‘Ride Report: Sunday 27 November – The sick, the lame and the just plain lazy’

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  1. Matt says:

    “a slightly delayed start waiting for those out partying last night (you know who you are)”

    Yes, I know who I am (hangs head). I was determined to be out on the ride and said as much to Dave, only to wake up with (yet another) hangover from his birthday gig the night before. Eight weeks without wine, then just a couple of large ones really shouldn’t have caused the mayhem it did.

    Sounds like a classic Moles ride of yore, shortish and not too strenuous (although surprised you didn’t go up Box Hill for a medicinal hot chocolate for Dave). Maybe we need to mix in a few later starts and shorter rides to get some variety in over the winter?

    Gutted to have missed it, but have a lot of holiday to take in the coming three weeks so am looking forward to recharging my batteries. I’ll be jumping straight to MudXs I think.

    See you all soon etc.

  2. Markymark says:

    Evidently Keith left his zimmer in the car park; Dandy turned up in pyjamas; James brought along his e-bike; and DaveC was overheard saying ‘take everything in moderation. Including moderation.’

    • Dandy says:

      It’s almost like you were there. Were you lurking behind the dog walkers cars in the car park?

      Keith had fitted Mud-Xs to his zimmer, I managed to get the knee pads to fit over my jim-jams, James gave up on the e-bike and brought his Honda moped and Dave just glugged his hip flask all the way round. Not forgetting Jem, who claimed his ‘herbs’ were for medicinal use and were therefore legal.

      As you can see, we are finely tuned and serious athletic group. Unlike you lot, we didn’t waste time hanging around and taking pictures of Barrie and his inflatable penis 😉

  3. Guacamole says:

    If there is anything that will spur Guacamole on to return and kick ass it is the talk of Zimmers. Carbon Zimmer I will have you know! Nice ride with some tech stuff to show up how out of tune I am with the bike at the moment.

    The good news is the ankle is not getting any worse so it’s time to start pedalling harder again.

  4. james says:

    it has been a long time in coming. Really enjoyed the ride and seeing some old faces. Look forward to the next ride.

  5. Guacamole says:

    Less of the “old faces” Jem
    Swinley MTB yes, GoApe you gotta be kidding. I did it in the Lakes with the kids once and that was enough

  6. Jem says:

    Very enjoyable to be out with Moles once again, albeit injured and infirm!!

    I overdid it a little me thinks. Trying to find the balance of what is just enough before the dreaded bonk!

    T’was a slow and hard last few miles on the tarmac home from the A24. Suffered for a couple of days after.

    19.7 miles for my total. Too much for me at the moment.

    As Arnie once said, “i’ll be back! 🙂 another day.

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